Zucchini with Ricotta, Mint, and Basil

This may sound like a simple and not very exciting combination, but I practically live on it in the summer when my small patch of zucchini produces more vegetables than I can cope with. It’s also well behaved—you can make it earlier in the day to eat in the evening.–Diana Henry

LC Zucchini That's Well Behaved Note

We can expect nothing kinder from the gods of summertime abundance than zucchini that’s “well behaved,” as Diana Henry so poetically puts it in her preceding headnote. Nope. Nothing kinder. And if you find that the gods were a little too generous this season with the zucchini, albeit well behaved, may we suggest an after-supper slice of something sweet, say perhaps some zucchini bread?

Zucchini with Ricotta, Mint, and Basil Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 25 M
  • 25 M
  • Serves 4 to 6


  • 6 medium zucchini
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 ounces ricotta salata cheese, fresh if possible, broken into chunks
  • 1/2 cups pecorino cheese shavings
  • 1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves only
  • 1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves only
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil


  • 1. Have everything ready and on hand because you will layer the dish as you cook it.
  • 2. Cut the zucchini into rounds about 1/4 inch thick. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan and cook the zucchini, in batches, until golden on each side and tender throughout. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper. Transfer the zucchini to a broad, shallow serving bowl and cook the next batch, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.
  • 3. When you have a layer of zucchini in the bowl, layer some ricotta, pecorino, and herbs on top, then add a good squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Continue like this until you’ve layered all the zucchini and finish with some herbs and shavings of pecorino and drizzle with a bit of extra- virgin olive oil. Serve while still warm or at room temperature.
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